Laser stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. It is a beam of light concentrated on a single point, created by passing an electrical current through a special material. There are many types of lasers and their materials. Eye and laser treatment goes hand to hand as doctors prefer to use different types of lasers for different treatment purposes.
Two Different Types of Lasers:
Laser treatment can be done via two different types of lasers:
1. Thermal (Argon/Krypton) Lasers:
- Convert light into heat energy
- Seal up the bleeding and leaking blood vessels and fluids
- Destroy tumors
- Bind the retina back to its proper place
- Create opening in the eye for further surgeries
- Sculpt and cut the tissue like a knife
- Cut vision-blocking membranes within the eye
- Change the shape and structure of the eye
2. Photo disruptive (Excimer/YAG) Lasers:
Advantages of Laser in Ophthalmology
Laser can be used to treat all the problems of the eye and laser surgery, and has many advantages including:
- No risk of infection
- No additional extra post-care, the patient is allowed to go home as soon as the surgery is done.
- Precise and Controlling Operation by the doctor
Different Diseases of the Eye and Laser Applications
Following of the diseases can all be treated with the help of laser successfully:
1. Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes can cause a major loss of vision by invoking the blood vessels in the retina to develop abnormally, sometimes even causing a leak of fluid. Laser surgery can be used to stop the blood vessel growth and seal the leaking blood vessels up.
2. Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration causes the loss of reading or central vision through macula damage, which is the part of the retina allowing us to see clearly. Although dry macular degeneration cannot be controlled via laser, the wet macular laser can be treated so as to stop the bleeding and scarring of the retina by sealing the blood vessels.
3. Cataract Surgery
After the removal of the cataract, the lens of the eye can become cloudy. A laser can be used in this case to clear up the cloudy membrane restoring clear eyesight.
4. Retinal Holes and Tears
A retina can be at a risk of detaching from the back of the wall of eye and laser can be used to repair the detachment again. The detached retina can cause a drastic loss of vision and tear away or cause a hole. Most of the retinal detachments can also be treated with the help of krypton or argon laser before they completely tear away.
5. Refractive Surgeries
With the help of excimer lasers in procedures like LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy), the need for contacts and glasses can be completely eliminated by shaping the cornea to a desired level.
Laser surgery is one of the better advancements in ophthalmology and eye and laser treatments go hand in hand. In many situations, laser can prevent the loss of vision, but not improve it. While in some cases, lasers can improve the vision as well altogether.